She was 18 when she went on tour with the Johnny Otis Band, and in 1952 with Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra. After that she decided she wanted to be a professional singer, and recorded with Quincy Jones in 1952 and 1953.
In 1955, after having cut her first record tracks with alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce, she went on tour to Sweden, where she was a huge sensation, singing with Rolf Ericsons Band that included Duke Jordan and Cecil Payne. The Swedes dubbed her “Stina”. Her first solo album was cut in Sweden and released in the US in 1958 by Mercury Records, titled “Hot Cargo”.
By now she was a rising star. In 1958 she was asked to sing in the first Monterey Jazz Festival, and she was named “Best new vocal star” in Down Beat, and she was featured in Time Magazine. In the ‘60s American jazz musicians met with difficult times, and she moved to London to pursue her career, but after a couple of years she returned home and went into semi-retirement, performing only in local clubs. Bassist Ray Brown made her resume her career, and she signed with Concord Records in 1976, and over the years she has made nearly 20 albums. Two of them – “Never Make Your Move Too Soon” (1981) and “Big City” (1983) – received Grammy nominations.
She then joined Quincy Jones’ label, Qwest, and two of her records there – “Now And Then” (1993) and “Blues, Dues & Love News” (1996) were nominated for Grammys.
Anderson has earned her title of “Jazz Legend”. She is an acknowledged virtuoso of the blues, and she is equally superb with ballads and swing. From intimate trio formats to big band, she does it all with sophistication. Her sensuous voice is intimate in small club settings, and intense enough in a festival arena.